What just happened!?
Collingwood has fought back at the death to defeat Essendon four points in an MCG miracle thanks to a Jamie Elliott goal after the siren for its ninth-straight win to climb into the top four.
It comes after the Magpies surrendered a 37-point lead at quarter time before trailing by as much as 20 points in the fourth quarter as the Bombers looked like charging home.
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But Craig McRae’s side held its nerve, just as it has so many times over its winning streak, booting the last four goals including Elliott’s sealer on the siren to send fans into raptures in epic scenes.
“Ice in his veins,” Jamie Elliott,” Channel 7 commentator James Brayshaw exclaimed.
The scoreboard ultimately read 12.8, (80), to 11.10 (76) in the black and white’s favour.
Collingwood now sits in fourth position while improving to 13-8 overall as the Bombers had their three-game winning streak snapped to drop to 6-12.
QUARTER-BY-QUARTER MATCH REPORT
Skipper Scott Pendlebury nailed the first goal of the game to get his team on the board in the opening minutes, while Darcy Cameron kicked the next.
Collingwood’s ball movement was exceptional early to draw big praise from Channel 7 pundits.
“At the moment it’s Collingwood’s ball use, just slicing Essendon apart. Collingwood using the ball beautifully,” Geelong great Cameron Ling said.
Former Demons skipper Nathan Jones added: “It’s incredible offensive ball movement by the Pies. As a forward you’re licking your lips when it’s coming in at that sort of speed.”
An exciting play down the center of the ground resulted in Ash Johnson’s second major — and the Pies’ fourth straight to start the game — with Ling noting they were playing “electric footy.”
A week where the AFL announced a crack down on high-contact interpretation, the polarizing Jack Ginnivan was taken high but the umpire called play on to draw big criticism from pundits.
“He’s not fair game. Just because you’re going into the mindset of ‘Ginnivan has done this before’, it doesn’t mean that Essendon players can go for their life. That’s a free kick every day,” Ling said.
The Collingwood domination continued later in the term including a freakish goal of the year contender from Josh Daicos — resemblant of the legendary Daicos senior, who was seen in the crowd cheering, — a Mason Cox hanger, and second-game Ash Johnson booting his third goal of the term.
“Collingwood fans in ecstasy This is just a little scary statement Collingwood are making,” Channel 7 commentator James Brayshaw said.
The Pies took a 37-point lead into the first break, 6.2 (38) to 0.1 (01).
But the Bombers responded in the second quarter through the first two majors to Peter Wright and Harry Jones to bring it back to a 24-point game.
Wright kicked the next one for Essendon as it was well and truly game on again.
“Been a good response from the Bombers,” Ling said.
Jones added: “Completely different Bombers side we’re seeing at the minute. Their pressure has gone up, their ability to win contests has gone up, it’s creating so many opportunities.”
It was almost like the two sides had swapped jumpers in the second quarter quarter as Andrew Phillips made it four Bombers goals on the trot to continue an emphatic response and massive shift in the contest.
And Ben Rutten’s side wasn’t done there, with Matt Guelfi first forcing a turnover then taking an unlikely one-handed mark in the goal square before converting the Bombers’ fifth-straight major.
Collingwood kicked one late to make it a 13-point game at half-time, 7.4 (46) to 5.3 (33).
Essendon picked up where it left off to open the second half, with Wright missing a set shot before Nic Martin nailed his opportunity to bring it back to a seven-point game, while Sam Draper continued to assert his presence around the ground in a strong showing from the Bombers ruckman.
“Reminds me of a young Max Gawn,” Jones said of Draper in a big compliment.
The Bombers looked the better side throughout the early stages of the third term, with Chanel 7 commentator Alister Nicholson saying, “there’s a ferocity about Essendon that was lacking at the start of this contest.”
Kyle Langford booted the next goal for the Bombers to give them their first lead of the contest in a stunning turnaround, while Draper brought the house down after a banana goal before celebrating appropriately, with Nicholson noting they was in “total control.”
The Bombers led by 14 points at three-quarter time lead — which marked an insane 51-point turnaround — 10.7 (67) to 8.5 (53).
Guelfi continued the Bombers’ charge in the fourth quarter with the opening major of the term to take a 20-point lead.
But the Pies, just as they have so many times this year, fought back at death, kicking the next three goals to set up another thrilling finish.
Harrison Jones looked to put the Pies away late, nailing Jeremy Howe from 40m out directly in front of goal for the sealing kick.
But Jones’ shot hit the post as Collingwood got one last roll of the dice for victory from a kick in, with the Pies going coast to coast as Elliott marked the ball from 40m out on the boundary line.
The siren sounded as Elliott lined up for goal, nailing the shot through the big sticks to secure Collingwood’s ninth-straight win in insane scenes.
This match got underway at 3.20pm AEST from the MCG.
Watch it live on Fox Footy (channel 503) from 3pm AEST.
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